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Alliant Foundation donates $15,000 to United Fantasy Flights across 10 airports this holiday season


Alliant employees across the country recently volunteered in support of United Airlines Fantasy Flights. In addition to the volunteer hours, Fantasy Flights in 10 airports were supported financially by a $15,000 grant from the Alliant Credit Union Foundation.

United Airlines employees have hosted Fantasy Flights for 22 years, and Alliant always looks forward to supporting their efforts. The Fantasy Flights provide a joyous holiday experience for seriously ill or disadvantaged children and people with disabilities. 

Children and their families take a short flight on a United jet, after which they disembark at the “North Pole” to see Santa Claus. The families receive holiday gifts from Santa and his elves, are served lunch and participate in additional holiday activities. 

More than 40 employees and family members from Alliant’s Chicago headquarters and six of its branches volunteered to help with the annual event. 

“Our volunteers decorated planes, airport walkways and North Pole settings at airports near our branches nationwide. Others served treats to kids and their families or helped out in other ways,” said volunteer coordinator Rich Holke, senior branch manager of Alliant’s O’Hare International Airport and Willis Tower branches. 

The Alliant volunteers decorating at O’Hare airport also had an assist from some special elves of their own; students from Chicago’s Prescott Magnet School provided wreaths, posters, and several three-foot tall Nutcracker soldiers. 

For the past several years, the Alliant Credit Union Foundation has partnered with Prescott, supporting its teachers and students with classroom supplies and providing books for each Prescott student to read at home over their winter, spring and summer breaks. Prescott’s students expressed their gratitude for this support by creating Fantasy Flight artwork for Alliant employees to use at O’Hare. 

Alliant employees and family members who volunteered to help decorate O’Hare airport for the 2015 United Airlines Fantasy Flight.  

"This is a rewarding experience for each of us,” says Kia Herd, senior branch manager at Alliant’s Los Angeles branch. “Seeing the joy on everyone’s face is heartwarming. Our team is filled with gratitude for having the opportunity to participate in such a magical event.”

Alliant volunteers pose outside the Fantasy Flight plane they decorated at LAX (left), while Houston branch employees pose with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  

The United Fantasy Flights program began its 22nd year in Phoenix on December 4, with flights occurring at 10 other airports across the country. 

This year, the Alliant Credit Union Foundation provided Fantasy Flights with a $15,000 grant that supports locations including: San Francisco, Denver, Chicago O’Hare, Cleveland, Houston, Newark, San Antonio, Guam, Los Angeles and Phoenix. In Seattle, where there is no Fantasy Flight event, the Foundation donated $1,500 to YouthCare, a shelter for the city’s homeless youth.

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